Nicolet and advance to the Division 2 state championship game
In the first semifinal the Nicolet Knights ran out to an 8 point lead with 10:16 left but the Elks went a 17-4 run over the next 8:50, but Nicolet took the lead with 1.6 seconds left on a dunk by James Grahm.
Nicolet started the second half with an 8-0 run over the first 3:15. Nicolet’s defense then proved to be too much the rest of the way as the Knights forced 9 second-half turnovers and outscored the Elks 45-19.
Nicolet was led by Kobe Johnson who scored 20, Jalen Johnson put in 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Jamari Sibley scored 13. Elkhorn was led by Vince Umnus with 13, Nick Brown and Chance Larson added 7.
In the second semifinal, La Crosse Central got out to an early lead and led by as many as 9, but as has been the story of this tournament Milwaukee Washington clawed back into the game getting as close as 1 with 3:38 left in the first, but La Crosse responded going on an 8-2 run to close out the half.
The second half played out much like the first, Central led by as many as 14 but Washington clawed back in and tied the game at 55 with 5:16 left. After an emphatic Terrance Thompson dunk, Washinton took their first lead of the game on a three by C.Clay Jr. After that. Central responded with a jump shot by Noah Parcher, and Washington came back with two free throws by Deontay Long. After 3 Central fouls and a powerful block by Johnny Davis, Davis stole the inbound pass, missed the layup but David Hayden was there for the rebound and put back, giving central a 1 point lead.
Washington would then get a layup from Long to take the lead, Tre Valentino would then go 1-2 from the free throw line giving the Purgolders a 2 point lead. On Central’s next possession Johnny Davis would be fouled and hit both free throws tying the game at 63 with 4 seconds left. Long would miss a three at the buzzer sending the game to overtime.
Overtime would see the Purgolders get out to a 4 point lead before a three-pointer by Parcher would cut the lead to one on a three from the elbow. After another Davis steal, Parcher would lay it in and get the foul giving Central a four-point lead. But it was all Purgolders after that as Michael Foster Jr. hit a three to cut the Central lead to one, then after a Hayden miss, Foster would put Washington up on a shot with 4 seconds left to win.
Johntea Martin lead the Purgolders with 15 points, Foster would score 14 to go with 9 rebounds.
Johnny Davis would score 31 in the loss, Parcher would put in another 16, Hayden scored 12.
Milwaukee Washington and Nicolet will play for the state championship on March 16th at 6:35 PM